Olean mayoral candidates 2021

Mayor Bill Aiello (left) and Gary Harvey Jr.

OLEAN — Voters across the city will see at least one contested race when they get their ballots.

The mayoral race and alderman races in wards 2, 4 and 6 will each see at least two choices, Cattaraugus County Board of Elections officials reported. Officials have released sample ballots for the Nov. 2 general election, which can be found online at www.cattco.org/board-elections.

In the race for mayor, Incumbent Bill Aiello appears on the Republican and Conservative lines. Gary Harvey Jr. appears on the Working Families and independent United People lines.

The mayor is elected for a four-year term. The salary for mayor is $50,000.

Aiello won his last two elections — in 2013 and 2017 — against former Democratic Mayor Linda Witte. Aiello is the only mayor to win more than one election since the 1991 city charter revision — seven mayoral elections have been held since then.

The Democratic Party has not endorsed a candidate for mayor, and does not have a candidate representing it on the ballot.

Three of four alderman seats up for grabs this year on the Common Council are also seeing competitive races.

Aldermen are elected to two-year terms, with Wards 1, 3 and 5 electing new aldermen in even-numbered years, and Wards 2, 4, 6 and 7 electing aldermen in odd-numbered years. The salary for aldermen is $3,500 with a $500 stipend for the aldermen-chosen council president.

Ward 2

Incumbent Jason Panus is running on the Republican line. Kristin Hinson is appearing on the independent United People line.

Ward 2 covers most of East Olean. The ward had 1,336 active voters as of Feb. 21, with 467 Democrats, 468 Republicans, 284 independents and 117 with other parties.

Ward 4

Sonya McCall will appear on the Democratic and Working Families lines. Linda Edstrom will appear on the Republican and Conservative lines. Ezra Johnson will appear on the independent United People line.

Ward 4 saw the only primaries in city elections this year.

A Democratic primary saw McCall defeat Johnson, while a Republican primary between Edstrom and David Paone saw Edstrom win.

Ward 4 covers the southern blocks of the city’s downtown business district, as well as the Oak Hill neighborhood and part of South Olean. The ward had 1,038 active voters as of Feb. 21, with 397 Democrats, 274 Republicans, 273 independents and 94 with other parties.

Ward 6

Incumbent Vernon Robinson Jr. will appear on the Democratic and Working Families lines. Nicholas Peterson will appear on the Republican and independent Tradition party lines.

Ward 6 covers most of the West End. The ward had 1,106 active voters as of Feb. 21, with 422 Democrats, 349 Republicans, 250 independents and 85 with other parties.

Ward 7

Incumbent David Anastasia will appear uncontested on the Democratic and Working Families lines.

Ward 7 covers the North Olean, Homer Hill and Baldwin Heights neighborhoods, as well as the northern end of the downtown business district. The ward had 1,161 active voters as of Feb. 21, with 395 Democrats, 401 Republicans, 262 independents and 103 with other parties.

Candidates are listed in the order they first appear on the ballot. Under state law, party access and ballot position are dictated by votes cast in the last presidential or gubernatorial election. Parties with at least 130,000 votes or 2% of the votes cast, whichever is higher, automatically receive ballot access for the next two years. The order on the ballot is determined by how many votes each party receives, with the party with the most votes listed first.

(Contact City Editor Bob Clark at bclark@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @OTHBob)

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